How to motivate yourself to change your behavior | Tali Sharot | TEDxCambridge

  • Published on Oct 28, 2014
  • What does make us change our actions? Tali Sharot reveals three ingredients to doing what's good for yourself.
    Dr. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist at University College London and the director of the Affective Brain Lab. She is a faculty member of the department of Experimental Psychology, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, and currently a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on how emotion, motivation, and social factors influence our expectations, decisions, and memories.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 765

  • Loulou Lu
    Loulou Lu Day ago


  • Andrew Zaitsev
    Andrew Zaitsev Day ago

    She’s the sexiest neuroscientist I ever seen dawg. I’d marry her

  • Richard Hineman
    Richard Hineman 2 days ago

    I can answer this rather quickly.if you want to change all you have to do is set your attitude to what your goal is and your body will follow. I do this constantly if I feel I need to get better I just imagine it happens and say of course I can. I never say I can't. I say of course I can might take a while but I never give up till I master what I want. Practice makes perfect
    Its rather simple. Never fear and you can secede in any if you put effort into it.

  • bvbb hgn
    bvbb hgn 3 days ago

    What a beautiful speech and a speaker

  • yoshu
    yoshu 4 days ago

    Good talk. This partly explains how 'run streaks' is very motivating as well.
    Idk about the fact, but implying 'run streaks' and achievements on quit smoking addictions applications increase the success percentage. It's not necessary run streaks, other ways that apply the same ingredients as explained in the video could surely work too. Or if i have to sum it up, just gamify it.

  • Casper Krause
    Casper Krause 5 days ago

    I disagree with some of this - Not all people only focus on the positive.. A lot of people focus more on negativity and listen more to negative opinions than positive. I would argue the majority of people today are stuck in a negative "adiccting state" where they constantly listen and consume negativty

  • Muhammad Ahmed
    Muhammad Ahmed 5 days ago +5

    Such a great great great video!
    Really, it helped!

  • WaVy NaVy
    WaVy NaVy 5 days ago +14

    The worst part about being strong is that no one ever asks if you're ok.

  • sl5311
    sl5311 6 days ago +5

    Or you could just take your ADHD seriously and get a diagnosis and medication. That's what finally worked for me.

  • Paul Stone
    Paul Stone 6 days ago

    An experience investor does not see a market crash as "sh*t hitting the fan", it's all part of the ride and should be expected.

  • Proteus Black
    Proteus Black 7 days ago +49

    I'll save you 16 minutes: The answer is positive reinforcement.

    • mumbdaddy
      mumbdaddy 17 hours ago

      I’ll take the 16 because Tali fine. 😉

    • INameIsGood
      INameIsGood 4 days ago

      And avoidance of negative

  • Oleksandra Bakun
    Oleksandra Bakun 7 days ago

    Thank you.

  • DarthYuYevon
    DarthYuYevon 7 days ago

    She says everyone tends to believe the positive information more than the negative. This is false. People don't say I tend to see the negative for nothing. When people give my positive or negative info to choose from, I tend to think it's far worse than they say.

  • Anggalia Putri
    Anggalia Putri 7 days ago

    I read the book. Really good, but the talk is just great!

  • Simon Bell
    Simon Bell 7 days ago

    5:47 this is why people believe they're going to win the lottery, but don't think lightning will strike them. Even though the likelihood of lightning striking them is 7 times more likely to happen than winning the lottery

  • Ingrid Parrado
    Ingrid Parrado 8 days ago

    Saben donde puedo encontrar la charla con traducción al castellano o español. En serio necesito escucharla. Gracias por su ayuda

  • maxwell
    maxwell 8 days ago

    I'm an English learner kinda beginner. her pronunciation is so nice and I feel like she starred in America tv series 'Lucifer' as a shrink.

  • Léonard Ehouabolet
    Léonard Ehouabolet 8 days ago

    Excellent! Thanks a lot. I really needed that. I'm so happy to watch this speech. I'll try to apply that asap.

  • the Real EGGMAN
    the Real EGGMAN 8 days ago

    She speaks the truth!
    Women ain't scared of me.
    Animals are resistant to new ideas.
    Tell us how to cure lung cancer?

  • Matthew N
    Matthew N 10 days ago

    I'm watching this after more than 4.5 years of being published? What a loss!

  • Toumert. T
    Toumert. T 10 days ago

    Fantastic video

  • Danny Tourigny
    Danny Tourigny 11 days ago

    The RU-clip comments are glitchy as go F yourself!!!!!!!!!!

  • Danny Tourigny
    Danny Tourigny 11 days ago

    The RU-clip comments are glitchy as go F yourself!!!!!!!!!!

  • Danny Tourigny
    Danny Tourigny 11 days ago

    The RU-clip comments are glitchy as go F yourself!!!!!!!!!!

  • Suck_Krigga Ass
    Suck_Krigga Ass 11 days ago

    I still have trouble quitting cigarettes even though I tell myself all the positive things if I quit. Things like substance use is lot more complicated when you’re completely addicted. Therapy or medication is required

  • Lucas Kapala
    Lucas Kapala 11 days ago

    Give this women some water... her mouth is so dry 👎

  • John Elejalde
    John Elejalde 11 days ago

    I motivated myself to change and stop watching TED Talks.

  • Chartes
    Chartes 11 days ago


  • Paul G
    Paul G 11 days ago

    This doesn't matter but she is sooooo hot to me. Like, wow!

  • JA VW
    JA VW 12 days ago

    Someone get that woman a glass of water

  • Shantanu Shekhar's June rft

    One of the hardest things I have done is sit down daily for an hour long meditation. Buddhist instructions are very clear about never using force and fear with the mind. My meditation took off only after I developed curiosity towards how mind wandering happens. Curiosity naturally leads to an interested and happy mind.

  • Dave Scruton
    Dave Scruton 12 days ago

    Very good presentation, easily followed and explained in a clear and concise manor. A+

  • Nathan Prince
    Nathan Prince 12 days ago

    The moment I saw “Climate Change -> Natural Disasters” I immediately lost respect for her for making this political and turned it off. Way to be a shill lady. Also your skirt is way too tight.

  • Michael Glynn
    Michael Glynn 12 days ago

    Change to suit you - no thanks!

  • profnasty
    profnasty 13 days ago +1

    Saw a Japanese movie, "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai." As teacher, Sachiko, comely lass, motivated student by removing clothing for correct answers. This is a man's answer for positive motivation. This lady could teach calculus.

    FUCK YOU 14 days ago

    Female Max Tegmark.

  • homeostacy
    homeostacy 14 days ago +5

    Skinners theory of operant conditioning...sociology 101 people. This isn’t new information

  • kim robin Halvorsen
    kim robin Halvorsen 14 days ago

    Tali Sharot is hot :-)

  • The Pope
    The Pope 15 days ago

    Your hot but you and I and everyone else knows that it's the glasses eh? No its something else

  • AxeKick80
    AxeKick80 15 days ago +7

    This is one of the best talks I’ve heard. It’s so accurate.

  • Lehigh Valley Dave
    Lehigh Valley Dave 17 days ago

    all i can say is you are really pretty....a little bloaded but nevertheless what were you saying?

  • Dalton Sturrock
    Dalton Sturrock 18 days ago

    She’s hot

  • Jetto
    Jetto 18 days ago


  • Clementine Sionnach
    Clementine Sionnach 19 days ago

    I wonder if the results would shift if the variable was mental health and they controlled for different disorders. For someone with anxiety (like me), they might respond better to the future potential risks because our days are spent knowing and minimizing risks.

  • Смерть
    Смерть 20 days ago

    *lip smack* haaa

  • 1stdefenseinc
    1stdefenseinc 20 days ago

    Now... If She did the same talk wearing a bikini...

  • Kyle Sabell
    Kyle Sabell 21 day ago

    Oh man that’s the hottest women I’ve ever seen!

  • Alejandro González
    Alejandro González 21 day ago

    I met a lot of people who were more concern about their voices and how their singing would be affected by cigarettes than the actual idea of dying

  • run me over with your car

    I’m watching this instead of working

  • Isti Ahmed
    Isti Ahmed 22 days ago

    Would date her, why not ;)

  • Psych369Delicious Delicious

    Just had to stop myself from jerkin off to this babe.😢😔

  • Padraig O Broin
    Padraig O Broin 23 days ago

    I think this girls dentist told her her front teeth are closer than they actually are 😆😆

  • Jaclyn Castro
    Jaclyn Castro 23 days ago +1

    I really enjoyed this. Thank you for reminding me that positive is better than pointing out the negative to push people in the direction of action

  • cat yeah
    cat yeah 24 days ago

    This philosophy originates from my classroom...and from many others in HER formative years. We gave smiley faces to the good kids every day. As teachers, at the end of the week we would send home "report cards" with the weeks' stamps or stickers. Unbeknownst to her...her whole generation grew up on this "positive incentive". Her teachers gave her her whole hypothesis. She didn't come up with anything a third grade teacher hasn't used for years. Sooooorrrryyyy!

  • Dale Blake
    Dale Blake 26 days ago

    One of the best Ted Talks I have watched. I always wondered why they say fear is met with flight or fight, but don't mention freeze. I have had anxiety issues on and off most of my life and I know that freezing is the way I react to it almost always. Tali Sharot makes a lot of sense explaining why fear isn't a good motivation for changing anyone.

  • Zahid H Khan
    Zahid H Khan 28 days ago


  • V. Hall
    V. Hall Month ago

    Great Ted Talk!!!

  • WestOfEarth
    WestOfEarth Month ago

    I can't help but feel disconnected from this advice. Clearly there is a percentage of the population for whom these three factors do not provide the desired response. As an introvert, I care very little about social incentive or proof. In fact it induces stress in me. I'm also not one for immediate rewards. I play the long game. Progress monitoring is the one thing I do.

  • Mildred Harrison
    Mildred Harrison Month ago

    So Annoying

  • Dustin Cupples
    Dustin Cupples Month ago +1


  • Sabrina Paludo
    Sabrina Paludo Month ago +2

    Congrats! It was a really good performance and the matter was very well explained

  • Compuguy123 - Ghetto Mods/Gameplay

    *laughs in Stalin*

  • Arielle Lewis
    Arielle Lewis Month ago

    This is the best TedxTalk yet. I really need this 😊

  • Danielle Blanchard
    Danielle Blanchard Month ago +2

    I like her outfit

  • Nnamdi Do
    Nnamdi Do Month ago +9

    well tailored with key and practical examples. great one indeed

  • Sarah Drake
    Sarah Drake Month ago +1

    Weird how she referred to forty and over as elderly.

  • Chris
    Chris Month ago +2

    Couldn't watch it. All I could focus on was her lips smacking every time she spoke! Lost motivation to listen. I'm sure it was quality speech though 😕

  • Amazing Brain Hacks

    Great talk Doctor!

  • Travis Spencer
    Travis Spencer Month ago

    Creating change

  • Travis Spencer
    Travis Spencer Month ago

    Creating change

  • tnjrcfl1
    tnjrcfl1 Month ago +3

    She's a motorvating factor

  • Atlanta718
    Atlanta718 Month ago

    Freeze or flee

  • Nagev
    Nagev Month ago

    Presenting the information in a way a self-obsessed brain will be able to process it, for the greater benefit of all. Unless this conditioning is imprinted from school years? Perhaps the ability to learn from bad news at 6:41 graph has to do with the level of care or fear of failing to learn. It appears to me that younger pupils do not really care of the consequences (e.g. naive) and older people feel they have nothing to lose anymore. It looks like a 40 year old would have a greater incentive to quickly learn from failure, given that they are at the peak of their careers and preoccupied with mortgages, families, plans, activities, bills, dependants, etc. Age correlation does not necessarily mean causation, its the social factors of certain ages that form certain trends.

  • John Warren
    John Warren Month ago

    privatio boni

  • MR. Eng
    MR. Eng Month ago +1

    By listening to the TED every day, I have gained knowledge from the talk and I completely quite social media accept RU-clip.

  • doctor allcome
    doctor allcome Month ago +2

    They need to do a Ted talks featuring Ted Nugent.

  • 2jah Salomon
    2jah Salomon Month ago

    Free above all, everything else comes after.

  • Christopher Morante
    Christopher Morante Month ago +1

    Bless Ted talks

  • Mumified1
    Mumified1 Month ago

    Brilliant ! I am on the same page and ofcourse not forgetting relativity .
    The example of a feared animal and it's reaction was awesome!

  • Naresh Gupta
    Naresh Gupta Month ago +1

    Whats really puts us in action is good things and taking care of threats may cause of inaction

  • Howard Campbell-Downes

    Shocking re: hand-washing in hospitals. Particularly since this was THE most significant factor in reducing Infant Mortality/Death during Child-Birth (as discovered late 19th cent. British infirmaries.
    I blame the disinformation, as the reduction is attributed to inoculation/vaccination plus penicillin by Big Pharma and is the LIE peddled in medical textbooks.
    Ahem... What exactly is new here ?
    It has been well-known for well over a century that REWARD works as a way better incentive than PUNISHMENT and Peer-Pressure/Approval of one's peer group demonstrated 70 years ago.
    Psychology is a pseudo-science originally developed to afford Psychiatry equal status with medicine & surgery. "The Mind" is a reified abstract hypothetical construct which by definition cannot be 'studied', behaviour, yes to a point, together with several other social phenomena, despite distorted results impacted by the 'Observer Effect'.
    Whilst not surprised, I can't be alone in finding the information presented terribly sad & disappointing to hear in the 21st Century.
    Dr Howard Campbell-Downes

  • Terry Howard
    Terry Howard Month ago

    It might be true but still insane! Thinking that people at hospitals need a "rewarding" to make them wash their has reminds me the circus wher you give a snack to animals to make them perform a flipping jump!!! Poor world...what happened with human evolution!!!!

  • Victor Chen
    Victor Chen Month ago +4

    progress monitor,immediate reward and social connection! thank you !really learn a lot.

  • Lộc Nguyễn Văn
    Lộc Nguyễn Văn Month ago +1

    you are awesome, love your voice

  • Saleh RN
    Saleh RN Month ago +4

    I suspect , the problem is we might get used to rewards and they don't motivate us any more.

    • Jasmine Xie
      Jasmine Xie 18 days ago

      For this reason, psychology suggests we delay the reward over time, then reward ourselves less and less regular, just to keep it motivating. Using different strategies (that help us achieve our goals) from time to time will keep the strategies stimulating, and help us stick with what we are doing :)

  • Dadlord
    Dadlord Month ago

    Maybe this is a social experiment, where doctor teaches us how to think, by saying something like "statistics say". Who knows this days.

  • G D
    G D Month ago


  • freedom1234573
    freedom1234573 Month ago +1

    Makes perfect sense, but will society use this information?

  • Keliz Uchis
    Keliz Uchis Month ago


  • southern sunny
    southern sunny Month ago

    very smart people are not kind people and they are usually characterized as nuts ! how can you explain this baaaaaabe ?!

  • Reshie Roo
    Reshie Roo Month ago

    Flow theory

  • Love Scene Sexy Movies

    By the way, she is very pretty cute

  • Khanda Hussein
    Khanda Hussein Month ago +16

    I had to watch this 2-3 times to really grasp what she was saying. She is not saying HOW TO motivate ourself rather HOW WE get motivated.
    1. Social incentive- we are motivated through the positive actions of others. Ex. If we see our friend post a picture of themself at the gym then we want to do the same.
    2. Progress monitoring- We are motivated by seeing progress. Ex. If we start working out too and we see progress by weighing ourself then that helps motivate us to continue.
    3. Immediate Reward- reward your good behavior. Ex. If i workout this whole week then I will treat myself over the weekend. Maybe some pizza or ice cream 😉

  • Gustavo Al
    Gustavo Al Month ago +4

    Another “How to...” from TED. Perhaps life is not that straightforward.

  • sara mahmoud
    sara mahmoud Month ago +1

    more than perfect

  • Janus Douglas
    Janus Douglas Month ago

    Wow this was motivation! Please follow my page as well. I have recovered from PTSD , divorce, and bad credit utilizing aelf help techniques that I talk about on my channel

  • L. S. King
    L. S. King Month ago +7

    According to the principles in this talk, addiction treatment in the US is doing everything wrong. No wonder the results are so dismal!

  • sunshine sunshine
    sunshine sunshine Month ago

    No patience to watch her.... she is very slow....

    • Joseph Hill
      Joseph Hill Month ago

      Then good luck in the real word :P

  • Martna Darnell
    Martna Darnell Month ago

    didnt really address how to motivate myself, she presented research

    • Khanda Hussein
      Khanda Hussein Month ago

      Martna Darnell I had to watch this 2-3 times to really grasp what she was saying. Your right, she is not saying HOW TO motivate ourself but HOW WE get motivated.
      1. Social incentive- we are motivated through the positive actions of others. Ex. If we see our friend post a picture of themself at the gym then we want to do the same.
      2. Progress monitoring- We are motivated by seeing progress. Ex. If we start working out too and we see progress by weighing ourself then that helps motivate us to continue.
      3. Immediate Reward- reward your good behavior. Ex. If i workout this whole week then I will treat myself over the weekend. Maybe some pizza or ice cream 😉

  • Lessons In Life
    Lessons In Life Month ago +42

    Stop reacting to others and start responding. Reaction is automatic. Responding is consciously choosing your response. If you don't like your results, change your input, your thoughts, emotions, and expectations. - Marc Reklau